Lips, like fingerprints, are unique to each person, yet since the dawn of time, they’ve been used to express love all over the world! Let’s take a quick jaunt around the globe to find the most intriguing kissing traditions – as well as a cocktail ginspired by the passion of the French
While the kiss with tongues has been around for thousands of years, this phrase was popularised by the many French kisses enjoyed by British and American soldiers stationed there during WWII. It’s just one of many things to thank our French neighbours for, along with macarons, Champagne and, of course, this month’s delicious gin.
Kiss the Blarney Stone
In Cork, Ireland, on the battlements of Blarney Castle, sits a block of bluestone. According to legend, if you kiss it then the gift of gab is yours. Every year 400,000 tourists – including stars like Mick Jagger – journey there to kiss the mysterious stone. According to legends, crusaders brought the stone to Ireland from Israel and it was blessed by the pagan goddess Clíodhna!
Under the Mistletoe
This famous tradition comes from a Norse legend: Baldur, the god of light, dreamed he was in grave peril. His mother, the goddess of love Frigga, made every plant and animal in the natural world swear to never do him any harm.
Only one plant was forgotten – mistletoe! In the end, it was the death of him. The grieving Frigga wished that forevermore mistletoe should bring tender kisses rather than death into the world.
New Year’s Kiss
We’ve all seen a New Year’s smooch or two in Hollywood films like When Harry Met Sally, but the tradition actually comes from Germany! According to German folklore, the person you kiss on the stroke of midnight determines whether you will have good or bad luck during the incoming year.
An ‘Eskimo Kiss’ or ‘Inuit Kiss’ is actually based on the kunik performed by the Inuit peoples in the Arctic. This sweet gesture involves nuzzling your nose with another’s. It’s the only way to show affection when everything else is covered up in the icy cold!
Think kissing is exclusively human behaviour? Think again! Our closest relatives – chimps and bonobos – will have a kiss every now and again, especially as a sign of reconciliation after a fight.
French Kiss Cocktail
Fill cocktail shaker with ice, and pour in the gin, raspberry liqueur and juice/Champagne. Shake for 30 seconds. Strain into a chilled glass and garnish.
30ml raspberry liqueur
Pineapple juice or Champagne, to top up
Rose petals or raspberries, to garnish